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Buying for kids? Choose toys wisely

5 timeless tips for safe toys

1. Read (and heed) the package. Labels on toys can help you decide if the toy is safe for a child's age group. Make sure the label says the toy is nontoxic—meaning it doesn't contain materials that could poison a child.

2. Leave loud toys for infants and toddlers on the shelf. They have the potential to harm a child's hearing. If someone gives your child a noisy toy, place a piece of tape over the speaker to lower the noise level. Or just remove the batteries.

3. Reserve chemistry sets and hobby kits for older kids. They should only be given to budding scientists and hobbyists who are at least 12 years old.

4. Avoid choking hazards. Toys and parts should be larger than a child's mouth to prevent choking. Keep in mind that small game pieces are OK for older kids, but they may choke a younger child if swallowed. 

5. Study stuffed toys. Does a stuffed animal have loose ribbons or strings? They can strangle a child. Remove them if you buy the toy.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Safe Kids Worldwide

Reviewed 3/10/2023


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